Strategic collaboration between Washington credit unions and the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) has resulted in passage of Senate Bill 5144, which modernizes the state’s Credit Union Act. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed the measure April 19.
Of the state’s 91 credit unions, 55 have state charters and are impacted by the legislation. The policy advancement continues a tradition in the region of updating the Act roughly every 2 years.
“Washingtonians have entrusted credit unions to protect $47.6 billion in assets,” said Troy Stang, NWCUA president/CEO. “Credit unions reinvest those assets into the members, and into the communities they serve. A stronger Credit Union Act will enable state-chartered credit unions to better serve their members.”
A key improvement to the act amends the low-income credit union designation so credit unions may qualify without the need to apply. This is in alignment with existing policy for federally chartered credit unions.
The legislation also streamlines responsibilities of the board of directors, clarifying language and allowing more delegation of duties to the CEO. The role of the supervisory committee also has been clarified to ensure audits are performed and financials are independently verified.
Other provisions of SB 5144 include eliminating of the outdated term “purchasing shares,” and updating the Federal Parity Date to 2017.